When any team is put together in a matter of weeks, one of the biggest issues that are at risk of being exposed in a first game is the amount of chemistry they have.
That’s exactly what the San Diego Strike Force will test as they depart for a long road trip to Quad City in the Indoor Football League’s (IFL) first game of the season this week.
Although, despite just having two weeks of training camp along with some practice, offensive coordinator Taylor Genuser says that that won’t be an issue.
“It’s amazing seeing things come together,” Genuser said. “The guys we have became a family day 1 of camp. Guys were being competitive, but they weren’t being cheap with each other.”
Genuser thinks that is the perfect mix.
It all goes along with the Strike Force’s team motto: Family.
[That’s] because that’s really what we are,” Genuser said. “I’m not trying to be corny with all this, but it’s true. We are truly a family. Obviously, we haven’t been through the adversities of winning or losing yet, but family is the biggest thing I can take away from our team so far.”
That motto will play a big role in San Diego’s first IFL game against the Steamwheelers on Friday (7:00 p.m. CT on YouTube).
“I see it being kind of a fast-paced game,” Genuser said. “They’re going to bring some juice. [Quad City head coach] Cory Ross is a good offensive play caller and I know he has a good scheme. I think it will be a fast-paced and aggressive game.”
The Strike Force will be led into this matchup by quarterback Derrick Bernard, who previously played in the league for the Nebraska Danger.
Genuser, in his first year of coaching in the league, wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We have a great veteran quarterback in [Bernard],” Genuser said. “I played against him multiple times. One of the biggest shootouts in my career was a loss against Bernard. “He’s just a play maker. He’s an absolute stud and can make any throw on the field. He’s easy to coach.”
The former Barnstormer in Genuser called Bernard an extension of himself after seeing a particular live scrimmage situation.
Genuser had called a run play that he didn’t mince words about.
“I hated the run that we called, and I’m not going to call timeout in a scrimmage,” Genuser said. “Instead of me calling timeout, I’m sitting here watching him call out of [the run]. He called the exact same play we had talked about in our meeting the night before.”
Bernard checked out of the play and threw a touchdown pass.
“That’s when I realized that was the extension of me,” Genuser said. “He knows what I want. He knows our system and he knows what I want. I couldn’t ask for a better quarterback.”
With that great presence taking the snaps, expect a lot of attention to be paid to Bernard.
That could be the difference in this one.
“I think they are going to put a lot of eyes on [Bernard],” Genuser said. “They’re going to spy him with a linebacker and one or two defensive ends. I think they’re going to want to know where he is at all times, but I think we have the guys that can [fight through that], get open and really make plays.”